fly right

fly rightOk- So I had my introduction to foiling. Now it was time to learn how to properly fly.┬áThere’s probably no better place in the world than La Ventana, Mexico for kiting and foiling: steady winds, warm water and a protective bay!

The 1st few days here were basically an extension of the steep learning curve with many falls, tumbles launches and crashes. I had sore ribs, bruises on my thighs, butt and waist, cuts on my feet, swollen ankles, nicked brow and brim and a stiff neck from the whiplash of hitting the water at full speed with a helmet on. I’m still considering the impact vest. The kook helmet is mandatory. Even in warm water a wetsuit softens the blow.

Something began to happen by the 3rd day here- I got more comfortable and began to know what to expect. My rides were getting longer and I could easily lift off and begin to foil at will and touchdown when needed. By the last 2 days I began to get into the rhythm of keeping the foil up and steadily riding without getting launched every 10 seconds but sometimes still got randomly launched over the front of the board. By the end if the week I was able to get going upwind on both tacks more efficiently. The foil really wants to track and is almost effortless once you find the sweet spot. Downwind. It’s a different story. Somehow the mental block or muscle memory has not allowed me to fully send it. Perhaps it’s the side shore conditions or the steep northerly chop but for the life of me- I can’t go deep at all on starboard tack.

Foiling is attune to an epic powder day in the mountains. Oh my, that floating feeling of riding 2-3′ above the water is like flying. There’s no sound except for the occasional touchdown and splash of the hull against the water- reminding oneself of that other reality. Then with a slight pull if the bar, the board jumps up again. It’s absolutely the most amazing kind of sailing I’ve ever done.

Granted, I’m still a kook when it comes to making any type of transitions from tacks or gybes but I know quite well it’s all about the journey this time around.
25 gybes attempted. 9975 to go perfection! What I can say after 6 more days of riding here is that I’ve rediscovered the joy, surprises and excitement that captured me for the past 25 years on the windsurfer.

Full story and report: stevebodner.blogspot.com
photo credit: Michael Petrikov